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Offline Nardus

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #60 on: October 01, 2008, 09:10:42 am »
Hi Frohan

My genade - maar nou raak die report eers lekker !!! Kort nogal ballas om alleen aan te gegaan het vanaf Nairobi. As ek reg onthou is Nairobi nog nie eers halfpad nie.

Ja, ek het meer as 100 pap wiele gehad - gelukkig kon Johan my help meeste van die kere. Myne was darem versprei oor so 6 maande.

Kannie wag virri res - gooi mielies !!
Let the snake slide and the lizzard slither and LET IT BE !
 

Offline Ratel

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #61 on: October 01, 2008, 01:59:02 pm »
Shit Ratel
I am sorry, I put the pictures on Flickr, it took me a shit lot of work to scan them and then download it there, If someone can give advise then I can try to put it somewhere else as well............

"Hotspotshield" to the rescue!

Works brilliantly to circumnavigate the censorship police here...

What once was lost, can now be seen!
"Stercus accidit..."
 

Offline Ratel

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #62 on: October 01, 2008, 02:43:17 pm »
Baie nice :thumleft:

Aai, ek sal darem graag so 'n trip wil doen :)
"Stercus accidit..."
 

Offline Frohan Visser

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #63 on: October 03, 2008, 08:35:03 am »
Ethiopia

Now I had to drive on the right hand side of the road and it caused a few scary moments to me and some oncoming traffic. At Mega I filled up with petrol and the guy at the petrol pump wasted about 5 liters of petrol on me and the bike and after a long argument where I had to use hand signals, he couldnt speak or understand any English, I convinced him to give me 5 liters more fuel for the same amount I paid, so my hand signals worked. I didnt use my fist, but it came close to it!!  
 



For the next 20 km everywhere along the road were enormous big ant hills, this one was about 4 meters high, u can see my cameras lens cap at about 1 meter high.


Ethiopia was just green everywhere and I was driving on a good tar road, so the spirits were high again.



I filled up with fuel at Yabelo and then drove on untill Yirgi Alem. Yirgi Alem is a hot spring, mainly used by the locals, luckily that evening I was the only one in the communal bath. I pitched my tent underneath this nice lapa. I must admit that I was really homesick when I took this photo the next morning, I was bloody far from home and was just driven by my passion for exploring some more of this beautiful continent and my money was slowly running out and I didnt had enough for turning around, so there were only one option, straight ahead to Israel. I had some kind of construction job that was organized for me in Israel , I just had to get there.











I drove on until Addis Ababa. It took lots of concentration to drive on the right hand side of the road in the city, especially around some big circles. Eventually I found the Bell-Air Hotel that Tom from the over land truck told me about, again my little tent were pitched in the garden.

The next day I went to the main post office to see if there were not a poste restante letter from my parents, but I drove faster than planned and I was in no luck, I post my parents a letter and met a South African couple with there Landy, they invited me for lunch at a small restaurant and we again ate the traditional Ethiopian dish, Anjera and drank some good beer.

That night the British over lander truck arrived at the hotel, I had supper with them and then went to sleep.

The next morning I hit the road again. The scenery were breathtaking but it was bitterly cold and I stopped twice to put more clothes on. I drove on until Robit where I bought a cup of strong Ethiopian coffee for 60 cents and filled up with fuel. I drove through 3 tunnels and the road was some places tar and some places dirt, but it was good and I could maintain a steady speed. The whole Ethiopia is basically just one big mountain range and all the roads are mountain passes, there are very little open straight roads in the whole country. Going up on one of these passes I came around a turn and cutted the turn and at that moment a truck came from the front, instinctly I swerved to the left like here in South Africa and swerved right in front of the truck, luckily he stopped inches away from me. I explained to the driver that I am not used to driving on the right hand side of the road and we both drove on, but I think my underpants got some marks inside them.






That afternoon just after 5 oclock I got to the town of Dese. Stephan, the German with the 800 cc told me about some little houses that belongs to the Red Cross that one can sleep over at, so after a few minutes I found it. It was pre fabricated buildings with 4 bedrooms, a kitchen and lounge and I had one just for myself. I took a long warm shower and cooked some mielie pap on my gas stove and then went to bed. That morning there were a thin layer of ice on the bikes seat.


I drove on and just before Mekele I got my first flat tyre in Ethiopia, there were thousands of flys and miggies bothering me while changing the tire, but this is Africa.





At Mekele I ask the owner of the petrol station how far it was to Adrigat and he said 50 km, so I decided to drive on , but only after 119 km I got to Adrigat at 8h30 the evening. I never tried to drive after sunset but that day I broke my rule of night driving.

I decided to spoil myself again and slept in a little hotel. I drove 490 km that day but because of all the mountain passes it took me much longer than normal.


The next day was my last in Ethiopia and the last few kilometers to the border of Eritrea was a good straight tar road. I didnt had any problems at the border and still had to drive about 25 km to get to the next town where the Eritrean immigration post was.

Eritrea

From there I drove on until Asmara, the capital of Eritrea. The road to Asmara lets u think u are driving alongside the Fish river canyon with very deep valleys both sides from the road. Asmara is a beautiful little city thats very clean and everybody was extremely friendly and waving at me. I couldnt find any camping spots here so I ask at a few hotels and the one owner allowed me to put my tent up on the sun roof of the hotel, that was awesome and I had a excellent view over the city.

I was slowly running out of film so I unfortunately didnt take any pictures of this beautiful little city.

Here I stayed for 3 days while I waited for my visa for Sudan. I bought some bananas for lunch, got some more patches and checked the bike completely. I wanted to buy sugar, but I couldn‚??t explain to them what I wanted and the shop keeper first brought me some benzene, then cooking oil and lastly some coffee, then I remember I still had a tiny bit of sugar left, I got it and let them taste it and immediately they brought me a small bag of sugar at last. I changed some money and counted my US dollars that I still had, it was R1900, I started my trip with R3700 in Stellenbosch. I enjoyed Asmara with its wide open clean streets and it didnt feel as if I was still somewhere in Africa but rather in a small city somewhere in Spain.

While I stayed here I got sick from malaria again and had a very bad fewer, but those malaria tablets were magic and the next day I felt much better again. In Asmara the locals dont use there lights from the cars when driving at night, they definitely use there hooters over eagerly and when I drove the one evening to a small restaurant with my headlights on, every other car were flashing there brights towards me, until I then put my brights on, then the  light war was over and won by me.

The next day I was suppose to get my visa for Sudan, so I packed and went down to the embassy, ready to start driving further. Here I  am waiting in the shade for the Sudanese embassy to open after lunch to get my visa. I drove out of Asmara and slept that night at Keren.



The next morning I woke up at 3h20 and started driving, the road was in such a bad condition that it didnt made a difference whether I was driving at night or in day light, I could anyway just do about 30km/h, it was rocks and lots of small turns with high cliffs both sides of the road.

Later the road got better and slowly the high mountains changed to lower hills with some savanna grass, slowly I could see I am heading towards the desert.











I drove on until Tesseney at the border from Sudan. Here I met 2 South Africans, Giles and Obeys. Obeys is a professional photographer and he hired Giles to drive him through Africa so he can take photos for his next book that he wanted to published. They had interesting stories to tell and some very scary moments with their Range Rover that was nearly high jacked in northern Kenia. It was so nice to just be able to talk to people and to even talk Afrikaans was more special. Because I couldnt really communicate with the locals since I left Nairobi, I started sometimes just to talk to myself, I was scared that I will loose the ability to be able to speak!!



Here in Tesseney the Eritrean officials really test my patients and it took a very long time, a lot of paper work and they also took an ID photo of me, before I was ready to leave their country. The little photo they took of me describes my mood, I was gatvol and just wanted to get out of the country.



Sudan and the Sahara is next.
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 09:39:29 am by Frohan Visser »
1986 Suzuki DR 600, Confiscated in Egypt
1992 Suzuki DR 800, sold
1997 Suzuki DR 650, sold
2005 KTM 640 Adv, sold
201.. KTM 690 R in the next 2 years
 

Offline Hidalgo

Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #64 on: October 03, 2008, 11:45:05 am »
 :thumleft:

Im riveted.    Keep it coming.

Thx
H
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Offline mrg46

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #65 on: October 03, 2008, 05:26:07 pm »
Very good post - so much I can relate to.

Man but you were doing it on the cheap hey. Respect.

Can't wait for the rest
 

Offline Frohan Visser

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #66 on: October 03, 2008, 07:52:33 pm »
Thanks Mark, Hidalgo, yes I did it on a low budget, my father just told me" if I want to go on a holiday I have to save and get enough money myself"!   Giles definately were from Joburg and im very sure its the same guy! The paw paw will soon start hitting the fan in my story! Stay tuned for all the shit that happened in Egypt!
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 09:41:20 am by Frohan Visser »
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Offline Plothond

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #67 on: October 04, 2008, 07:50:38 am »
You better hurry up !!
I've already read the other "long way down" thread and am very curious to read all about it  :)
« Last Edit: October 04, 2008, 07:51:07 am by Plothond »
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Offline LanceSA

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #68 on: October 05, 2008, 09:36:50 am »
Awesome RR. Makes me gala.
It's a friggin' motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The windnoise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you scared every now and then. Suck it up. -- Scary Gary Mc
 

Offline Loopy

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #69 on: October 05, 2008, 06:16:18 pm »
Impressive! Please don't hold us in suspense too long for the next installment!
 

Offline Udjeni

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #70 on: October 05, 2008, 08:31:16 pm »
Thanks for posting this. Great stuff!  Minor correction (not that it really matters :) ):
Quote
We drove now in the direction of  Blantyre. After a while we got to Ngoma missionary station

That would be Nkhoma. I went to school there (but long before you passed through,  ;D )
 

Offline Frohan Visser

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #71 on: October 06, 2008, 08:25:41 am »
Sudan

I left the Eritrean border post at 17h30 and it was still about 17km to drive to get to the Sudan border and they close at 18h00 and to make things worst is that there was no road, just hundreds of tracks that all ran in hundreds of different directions. I was racing down one of these tracks in between some thorn trees when I suddenly got to a rope that is tide from tree to tree across the track. Just as I stopped to slowly lift it up and head on, a man come running towards me and shouted to stop, well, this was the Sudan border post. After he checked my passport very briefly, he ran to a tiny little hut and gave me the necessary stamps. I then heard from him that it is still a hour before they close and that Sudan is in a different time zone that Eritrea, so all my rushing wasnt necessary.



From the border I decided to drive in convoy with Obey and Giles because it was dark now, but after a while we lost each other in between the thorn trees and I was on my own. I heard that Kassala was close to a mountain so I started driving in the direction of a small mountain in the distance. After a few minutes I saw a long row of lights and thought it must be lights along the road, but it was Giles and 4 other vehicles that were all lost and they came from the front towards me, ha  ha. Now all of us were lost, long story short, after about another 45 minutes driving around we eventually found the main road and then it was still about 20 km to Kassala. When we got to Kassala it was just after 20h00 and I was on the road since 3h30 that morning. Obeys and Giles invite me to stay with them in a small hotel, but before we were allowed in, we first had to go and register and get a permit at the local police and tell them were we going to stay for the night. I was lucky to be able to park my bike inside the reception hall at the hotel. We got a very big roof top room with lots of ventilation and 3 single beds. It was still very hot although it was already close to 22h00 in the evening. We showered, ate and then I hit my bed, I was dead tired by then.

That morning we still had to be checked in again at a immigration officer and only after 12h00 I could start driving. Just before Gedaref  I stopped briefly for a rest and saw a big nail in my back tyre, when I pulled it out, the tyre deflated very quickly and I was forced to repair the tyre.



That afternoon late I got to Wad Medani. I went to ask at a hotel if I could camp in their garden, but they were not pleased with that but instead they offered me to stay in a room at a very low price. I was pleased but they told me the owner of the hotel first want to meet me and for the meeting I must put some neat clothes on, I didnt really had any clean clothes but washed my face and tide my hair together. It was one of these very rich Sheikes and he was very interested in my trip and could speak very well English. He told me I can pay them what I want for the nights stay, I felt bad but offered them 10 US dollars, it was a lot to me, but it was such a grand hotel I think it was still way cheaper than their normal price. I got an enormous big room, and they brought me a Coke on the house. I cooked some ‚?? mielie pap on my little stove and then went to sleep.

The next morning I quickly packed, went to thank them for their hospitality and then went to town to get petrol. In Sudan u can only buy petrol if u have a permit, otherwise u can buy it on the black market, still relative cheap, but then the seller can make his own price.

I drove on until Khartoum where I had to get another stamp in my passport. I bought some bananas, 3 long buns and some tomatoes. I watched how they were busy overloading this truck and they were still not near being finished loading it. Typical African style. Khartoum is built along the Nile and a few very big bridges link the city together. I am not a city person and I knew of some nice places to stay in Khartoum, but I decided to rather drive further and sleep somewhere in some smaller town or rather just in the desert.



I drove on until Shendi where I bought some more petrol on the street from a local that had some 5 liter containers in the back of his car. I bought a Coke at a small shop and here u pay more if u buy cold cold drinks, the other ones are just room temperature. I treat myself with a cold one!! Here at Shendi I could get to the Nile for the first time, it was impressive, very wide and fast flowing.





I asked a local that never used a camera before, to take a photo of myself swimming in the Nile.



I hit the road again and after a few kilometers I turned off the road, head about 1 km into the desert and pitched my tent behind a big bush. I cooked pasta inside my tent because a gale force wind were now blowing and outside a sand storm was on its way. I didnt sleep much that night, the strong wind and sand were hammering the tent.

The next morning just about another 2 kilometers further I got a big shock when the dirt road just opens into the desert and changed into 30 different tracks that all run in different directions. This was the end of the road..shit...this was a shock to me !!!! Now it was hardcore navigating through the desert on my own and in the meantime the sand storm was still giving me and the bike a beating and didnt really make it much easier for me to see where to drive. I was always dreaming of driving alone in the Sahara Desert and now it became a reality to me and I had to use all my navigational skills to ride in the right direction and actually to stay alive. I tried to keep going north and some times saw the Nile far in the distance on my left side and that always assured me that I am more or less heading in the right direction. Some places the desert were hard pack and I could maintain a good speed and then just 20 km further it will change to soft sand with dunes and there were also patches of black rock sticking out of the ground. Theses pieces of rock looked like the points of swords and it was also as sharp as blades and I had to drive very cautious to prevent some more flat tyres.

I reached the little town of  Atbara and bought some more petrol from locals. Now I made sure that at every possible opportunity I filled up with fuel, u never now how far the next fuel stop can be and u dont want to run out of fuel in the middle of the desert.

I drove on and just before the town of Berber I noticed the front tyre is losing air, so I drove the bike on top of a small canal wall so the wheel was hanging free. I was just finished repairing the tyre when my stomach was giving some real funny cramps and it just gave me enough time to pack all my tools away before it gave the final warning. I  had just time to ran to a small dune about 30 meters away from the bike before my stomach let go. I was just relaxing, nearly finished with my veldtie when I truck came past, the dune were I was sitting behind was about 2 meters high and didnt gave me any privacy from the eyes from the people on the high truck, but well, they dont know me and it was their amusement for the day.

Some small town far away from the Nile. I tried to take a self portrait, but didnt succeed. It was very hot here and the wind on my arms were burning.






I was struggling to drive in the right direction and eventually turned towards the Nile and then found the railway line. I knew the railway line was going North so it gave me more hope. I now drove next to the railway line, but every now and then the Niles water will push deep into some small valleys and then I had to take long detours to drive around it. At each one of these places they built small short bridges for the railway line and after a while when I got to such a small bridge I decided to ride on the railway line over the bridge. It was just the sleepers and the two tracks and at a good speed I made it over with a lot of bumps but it saved me a long detour. I drove over about 5 of these short bridges and was getting a pro in this railway bridge driving, but then my luck turned. I got to a bridge and saw it was about 300 to 400 meters long and without stopping to check everything I started driving onto it. I came about halfway when the bike just couldnt take the bumps anymore and I ran out of revs and the bike finally got stuck  with the front and back wheels both exactly in between some sleepers. The engine plate was lying flat on the sleeper in between. The bridge was about 15 meters above the water and I just managed to keep my balance. From the shock that the bike got to a standstill my left mirror broke out of the fitting and fell down into the water. Ok, now I was stuck halfway on this bridge, balancing me and my bike and any moment a train could come from either direction‚?.I couldnt even move the bike. I saw some people walking on the other side of the bridge and started shouting at them, I think they immediately saw my problem and came running to help, now it was me, the bike and 3 Sudanese that I couldnt understand, but we were working well to get the bike off this track, we had to first lift it, them push it forward, then it falls in between the next two sleepers and then the whole procedure starts over again. It took us about 20 minutes to reach the other side and I was very, very thankful to the 3 helpers. I couldnt really offer them anything and I think they understood my situation. I drove on but not 5 minutes later my clutch cable broke. I had a spare one and put it on, but after that it was getting dark and I just pitched my tent there, in between the railway line and the Nile.






The next morning I woke up at 4 , made some mielie pap, packed and start driving. Because of my misshap the previous day I decided to leave the bridge driving and was forced now to drive deep inland every now and then when the water pushes inland. At one of these places I wanted to take a short cut and the ground looked dry, but I misjudged myself and the bike sanked into the mud. Once again some locals, a mom and her kids came to my rescue. It took us a while to get the bike out of the mud and then it also took me some time to try and get all the mud off the chain and back sprocket.



The mom and kids were very happy when I took this photo of them and they stood proudly next to the bike.



I drove on and a railway worker then told me its not far anymore to Shereik, the next biggish town. I found a nice track and it became bigger and bigger and after a few minutes I saw Shereik in the distance, I was relieved. I just had to stop to take a picture of the road and Shereik in the distance.





After Shereik the hardpack desert changed again to very soft sand and dunes but by now I was use to riding in the sand like a duck to water and I actually started to enjoy it. I reached the small town of Abu Hammid at 11h30 and went straight to the station to hear when the next train to Wadi Halfa is leaving, but the station master was unsure and said it could be any time in the next 3 days. I decided to then rather drive the final 500 km to the Egyptian border through the desert than to wait for a train that might never arrive. The station master offered me some coffee, he prepared it just there on his desk on a little burner. I drank it without sugar or milk as we know it and it was extremely strong, but something to remember.



My luggage got much less by now and I decided to take my panniers off and I eventually sold it to a Sudanese for about the same money it cost me to build it. Now the bike was much lighter and easier to drive in the sand. I fixed another flat front tyre just there on the station platform and had constantly about 15 to 20 locals that were watching me.



That evening after sunset the locals start their market, they put carpets outside on the sand and then they put their goods thats for sale on these carpets and the whole market area is lighted with some lanterns.

The next day I packed everything and went to the station master again, but he then confirmed that the train will only come in 2 days time, so I decided to then drive through the desert to Wadi Halfa. It took a lot of paperwork before I could buy some more petrol there in Abu Hammid, but eventually I started driving at 11. Just after about 5 km of driving I met up with 3 Land Rovers with Dutch travelers and they told me that there is trouble at the border at Sudan and Egypt and that the normal ferries that take u from Wadi Halfa in Sudan to Aswan in Egypt is not operating and thats why they turned around. They then told me that there will definitely be some smaller boats that can take me and the bike over to Aswan. I was a bit concerned but I continued in the direction of Wadi Halfa. There is now road and just open desert landscape and some places some really thick sand. I drove next to the railway line but later took a big short cut and just went straight according to my compass, that eventually saved me about 20km on a 500km stretch of road. I stopped a few times to take a break and also put some more fuel from a Coke bottle into my tank. This became my favorite part of the whole Africa trip, just open desert landscape with some dunes in the back ground..what more do u want.





That evening just after sunset I drove into Wadi Halfa. The Dutch with the Landys told me I could camp at the Total garage, the locals are busy building some camping facilities there but for now one can camp for free. I couldnt miss the 1.5 meter tall TOTAL sign and drove straight to the garage. I pitched my tent underneath a thorn tree and ate some tuna and dates and went to sleep. The next morning  I had to patch the front tyre again and then went to the harbor to find out about the ferries.



I went to the immigration office and also to the shipping companys office and both told me that they doubt if any ships will be operating in the next few days. I was concerned  and just then a boy came to me with a small letter written in English. It was from Muhamid Sali, he is one of the riches people in Wadi Halfa and he invited me to his house for lunch at 2 the afternoon. The boy immediately went to show me Muhamids house and I also met him then. A very nice man that speaks good English, he told me his one daughter is studying in Germany and he will help me with a permit to travel by land to Egypt. At 2 oclock I went to his house again and there were eventually 15 men together, all of them had some influence in the community and were some of the richer families in Wadi Halfa. I had some braaid fish and Anjera just like in Ethiopia.

I thanked Muhamid for the lunch and he then told me that he will organize everything for me the next day so that I can go per land over the border to Egypt, I was relieved and went back to my tent.

The next day not much happened, I went to the harbor again to ask about any ships, but with no luck. I went to Muhamids house and gave him a lift to the immigration office and then we went to the military head in Wadi Halfa. After a lot of  paperwork Muhamid got the go ahead and my passport were stamped and Muhamid and the immigration officer wrote a letter in Arabic to the Egyptian authorities, explaining my situation about the ships not operating and that the Sudanese government gave my permission to travel per land to Egypt. We then went to a small military camp outside the town and he ask them to show me the next day where to ride to get to the first military post in Egypt. I was happy, everything was sorted out and he then wanted his pay off for his organizing and he wasnt cheap and wanted 50 US dollars from me. I went back to my tent and started packing.


Egypt  with its corruption is following next.
« Last Edit: November 30, 2010, 08:21:08 am by Frohan Visser »
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Offline bradleys

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #72 on: October 08, 2008, 03:14:24 pm »
Please sir can we have some more :ricky:Great report RESPECT BRO
ROUTE DIFFICULTY
1 = tar
2 = good gravel /pillian friendly
3 = interspersed with sand, mud, sand , bush / not pillian friendly
4 = lots of sand, technical riding 5 = expert only
 

Offline DeonDj

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #73 on: October 08, 2008, 04:25:25 pm »
Bedonnerd man, jissie lekker!
The bike is just a blank page, the rider is the writer, the road is the ink....
 

Offline mrg46

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #74 on: October 08, 2008, 05:53:00 pm »
Epic post there Frohan.  Sounds like that is the Giles character I know.

Can't wait for the rest.
 

Offline Frohan Visser

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #75 on: October 10, 2008, 07:49:23 am »
Egypt

The next morning early I left to the Sudanese military camp they explained that I had to ride for 15km straight in between two dunes and then turn left and I will see the Egyptian army camp. I did that, but found nothing and turned around in my tracks and went back to them, it was just sand and big dunes and I didnt want to get lost here. This time they said I had to ride 35km straight on into the desert before I turn left towards the Egyptian army camp, well, this time I found them.



I showed them my letter and one officer could speak and understand some English and he said it was ok, they must just escort me to Aswan because the next 300 km is military zone and one is not allowed to travel there without a military escort. It was getting late so they carried a bed out from one of the bungalows and I slept there under the stars, I couldnt recognize any familiar stars from the southern sky and could see that I am definitely in the northern atmosphere.

The next day we started driving more north, 3 army soldiers with their jeep and me on the Suzuki, luckily my big bag was in the back of the jeep so the bike was light and I moved easy over the thick sand. After about 2 hours of driving where we had to stop a few times to put more water in their leaking radiator, we arrived at a small military camp next to the water. They radio over for the boat to come and get me and only after 14h00 the boat arrived. It was a small boat and it took some good maneuvering to get the bike on and to prevent the boat from tipping to the one side. The boat ride to the other side took about 20 minutes, the Aswan dam at this spot was about 6 km wide.

On the other side one of the officers met me and ask to see my passport, he then also ordered some soldiers to search through my stuff. They ask a lot of questions about my diving knife and my maps and then what were their high light was when they found a bag full of white powder stuff. They immediately were convinced that it was cocaine, but after opening it and tasting it they pulled their faces and taste it was my self raising maize ha..ha. What they didnt found was all my films that was inside my rollup sleeping bag, I put it there for some isolation from the intense heat and not to hide it, but it saved me my 15 films.

From there I droved with another jeep in convoy for about 45km north until we got to some army camp next to the road that runs to Abu Simbel. Here they said I must wait for a truck that is going to take me further north. Later just before dark the truck arrives and they said we are rather going to drive the next morning, so I slept there next to the road at this small army camp. The soldiers had a big party going on that evening, but I kept myself busy with some reading in my small Bible and later tried to sleep while their music were very loud and some of them were getting very drunk. This photo would be my last of the trip that I could bring back to South Africa with me, but that I would only find out a little later!!!!!!!!!



The next morning we loaded the bike on the truck and stopped a few times on the way to Aswan and drove into Aswan after sunset that evening. They offered me to sleep in an army bungalow that evening and I accepted it gladly, I wasnt in the mood to go and look for a camping spot this late.

The next morning I was taken to the immigration building to get my stamp in the passport, but then I was told that the security chief wants to chat to me. He ask me some political questions and stuff about Egypt that I either didnt even know and also didnt care about. He also ask a lot of stuff about my maps, the diving knife and my camera and he ask me where South Africa are, he thought it was somewhere close to Nigeria, I quickly draw him a Africa map and showed himvery stupid for a security chief!! I started wondering what is happening, but I thought this is probably just part of their whole system before you are allowed into the country.

After I was finished at him they took me to another building and said they want to ask me more questions and there was a translator and another army chief and they ask me the same stuff over and over and slowly I was getting irritating and worried. Every time I ask them but why I cant just get my stamps in my passport and go, they all of a sudden dont understand English. They got another translator and he again start asking me the same political questions. It went on like this and eventually at  just before 2 that evening they were finished with me, I was dead tired, worried and frustrated. I was taken to the military camp again and slept in the same bungalow as the night before, but they locked the door after I was inside. I didnt care to much, I just wanted to get rest.

The next morning I was taken to the immigration office again and got a stamp in my passport and then according to the immigration people, I was ready to go. They took me back to the army camp, I packed and was then told that one last army officer wants to see my passport. I rode to his office with my packed bike, he looked at my passport and said I can go outside, he will be with me soon. After a while they came to ask my camera and my spy maps as well as the diving knife. After about 30 minutes some soldiers came out and said the officer wants to see me, he then told me that I am illegal in the country and that they are going to send me to prison for 4 days, that was a shock. They gave me my camera back, but the film that was inside was taken out and they also gave my maps back, but they kept the diving knife. Again like before, as soon as I ask him for what reason they want to send me to prison, he all of a sudden didnt understand English. I was then escorted to the military camp again and left my bike there, I was allowed to take my sleeping bag and some clothes with me. They then took me with a jeep to the Aswan High Dam Prison. Here the prison warden was just as shocked as myself that he must put me in prison, he first gave me tea in his office and later took me down to the cells. I was worried and unhappy but I thought, well 4 days and then I am out of here.

The cell consisted out of  3 rooms with only very small windows in the top of the walls and the other room had only 3 walls and the one was only bars with a courtyard in front, so it was much cooler than the other ones, there were also just older people sitting here, so I immediately got a little spot next to a pillar and the bars, there I felt safer than inside one of the other rooms and it was much cooler here. The older men were relaxed and one could speak a little English and he was shocked to see a foreigner like me with them in prison.

At about 10 the evening a guard came and count us and after that everyone started getting their spots ready for the night, everyone throw blankets, little straw mats and even some of there clothes on the floor to make it as soft as possible for the night. There was not enough space for all of us to lay down and I was half sitting half lying down. It was a very long night.

There was one toilet in the one room, it was just a hole in the floor  and it was blocked most of the time, so the  stuff was floating around and there was a real bad smell in the air.

The next 4 days were the longest 4 days of my life and I couldnt follow what was going on among the other prisoners, cause everyone just speak Arabic, so I was a complete outsider. We were about 40 or 50 people together in that cell and all of us had to use that one blocked  toilet, hole in the floor. I asked the one man why he was in prison and he then took my diary and pen and draw some blood and a knife and showed me that he killed 3 people.

We got every morning at about 10 our meal for the day, that was 1 small pita bread per person, nothing else. So u had a choice, u either eat the whole little bread at once, or u divide it into smaller pieces that can last the whole day, that way your stomach will take longer before it start paining from hunger again, but then there was a change that someone could steal your piece of bread and it also got so dry from the heat, so I always just ate the whole bread all at once.

After  4 days in prison in Aswan, they took me to court. I was locked up in the middle of the court room behind some real thick bars together with about 15 other prisoners. All the time we were all handcuffed and were also tied together with a chain, so it was always a mission to prevent our chain of prisoners to not get tangled up. That was even more difficult when they loaded us in the back of the prison truck, then we had to try and keep our balance while the driver were speeding around the corners and as soon as one prisoner looses his balance, all of us starts falling over and to get that bloody chain untangled in the moving truck in pitch darkness was a hell of a mission. When they call your name out in court, they open the gate let u out while your case is been heard and then afterwards u go back behind the bars again. I didnt even knew they were calling me and with the help of  someone elses lawyer who could speak English, I was told that I was free to go.

But, as soon as we got around the corner of the court building they slapped the handcuffs back on and told me that I am going back to prison. Now I had enough and started asking questions and I could sense something corrupt is happening here. They then took me to another army officer at the army camp where my bike was. He told me they are confiscating my bike and the helmet, I can keep all my luggage. I was very upset and constantly ask them I want to contact my embassy, but they just ignored that. I didnt even had time to take the remaining money that was hidden in my air filter of my bike out before they took me away to the prison again. There were still about 200 US Dollars in the air filter. I then saw some Landys and a few other bikes parked and quickly ask to whom they belongs and was told they were also confiscated by the army from tourists. That was one of the worst feelings in my life when I had to give my bikes keys to that officer.

They took me back to the prison, it was very hot and luckily I got my same spot as before, next to the bars and with all the older men. Now I had all my belongings with me and it was a constant job to keep an eye on my stuff, they were just waiting for sleeping time to try and steal something from my backpack. I even had a problem with my watch, they were eyeing it but when I take it off they knew it will be in my bag, so I was sleeping with my other hand holding my watch on my arm.

I was another 2 days down in the cell until I got permission to sleep outside the cell on a small balcony from where I could see a little bit what was going on in the town. I was also allowed to use the officers showers and toilet and was by myself now. I talked a lot with the prison warden and every time he assured me that I will get my bike back and he also said they already phoned my embassy, but I would find out later that this was all just bull shit.

I was very bored and tried my best to make the time go by as fast as possible and read a lot in my small Bible, catch up with my diary and also draw these 2 pictures from a small Coke bottle and my foot. Thats prison life, lots of time to think about life.






I  was told that they are going to send me to Cairo to get to my embassy by the end of the week and it sounded all so good, but if I only knew what was still to come. The Thursday evening I was told to pack my stuff, I am going by train to Cairo the next day. I was taken further away from my bike now, but I was closer to the embassy, so maybe it will be the end of my nightmare.  Anyway, I was tens days in Aswan prison until the Friday morning when they took me to the train station.

The train trip and my visit to another Egyptian  tourist attraction is next!!!
« Last Edit: November 24, 2010, 10:07:42 am by Frohan Visser »
1986 Suzuki DR 600, Confiscated in Egypt
1992 Suzuki DR 800, sold
1997 Suzuki DR 650, sold
2005 KTM 640 Adv, sold
201.. KTM 690 R in the next 2 years
 

Offline bradleys

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #76 on: October 10, 2008, 08:37:00 am »
Jus what a nightmare ,you must of shat yourself, :(
ROUTE DIFFICULTY
1 = tar
2 = good gravel /pillian friendly
3 = interspersed with sand, mud, sand , bush / not pillian friendly
4 = lots of sand, technical riding 5 = expert only
 

Offline LuckyStriker

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #77 on: October 10, 2008, 08:48:28 am »
DAMN!
 

Offline mrg46

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #78 on: October 10, 2008, 04:30:37 pm »
That is HECTIC, I can't begin to imagine how kak that must have been for you. Bloody corrupt gypo's
 

Offline LanceSA

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Re: Stellenbosch to Egyptian nightmare!!
« Reply #79 on: October 12, 2008, 01:44:16 pm »
You read this story and then you watch LWD with their fixers and security etc, etc and you realize what posers they are. Awesome story. We know it ends well, seeing as you're here to write it. Can't believe what you had to live thru. Respect.
It's a friggin' motorcycle, it's not supposed to be comfortable, quiet or safe. The windnoise is supposed to hurt your ears, the seat should be hard and riding it should make you scared every now and then. Suck it up. -- Scary Gary Mc